Restless Legs Syndrome

Treatments For Restless Legs Syndrome

Having Restless Legs Syndrome is a real problem and can affect your life. Thankfully, there are treatments to help you get rid of the symptoms.


Symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are unpleasant and cause sleep loss. RLS is a neurological disorder that results in the irresistible urge to move the legs when resting. The symptoms typically occur at night.

Treatment options for RLS include medications and medical devices. It is also possible to improve the quality of sleep by making lifestyle changes. However, RLS can be very debilitating. Therefore, it is important to diagnose the disorder accurately and to avoid factors that increase the likelihood of its development.

Currently, the most common drugs for treating RLS are dopaminergic agents. These drugs work by increasing the amount of dopamine in the body. Dopamine is important in regulating mood and movement. Dopamine agonists can also make people sleepy.

Some people experience dizziness and nausea with dopamine agonists. If this occurs, the doctor may recommend an alternative medication. In addition, some patients with dopamine agonists report impulse control disorder.

Pregabalin has been used as an off-label treatment for RLS. It is thought to be more effective than placebo and conventional oral treatments. It can be prescribed at 50 to 75 mg per day. Generally, the drug is well-tolerated.

The American Academy of Neurology has published guidelines for the treatment of RLS. This treatment is recommended for patients who have periodic limb movements during sleep. A randomized double-blind trial compared pregabalin with a placebo and pramipexole. It was conducted in 102 medical centers in the United States and Europe.

The study involved volunteers with restless legs syndrome for at least six months. They provided written informed consent. At Week 8, three patients reported adverse effects. One patient reported a mild rash.

The most common adverse events reported with pregabalin were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.


Using Gabapentinoids for restless legs syndrome is a good option for patients who don’t respond to dopamine agonist therapy. However, there are some possible side effects to using Gabapentinoids. These include weight gain, dizziness, and respiratory failure. Also, the risk of suicidal thinking increases.

The FDA has issued a warning about the use of gabapentinoids. These drugs may increase the risk of suicidal behavior. They are also not appropriate for people who are allergic to gabapentin.

These medications also cause excessive sleepiness, nausea, and dizziness. They may also lead to a paradoxical worsening of symptoms. If you’re considering using Gabapentinoids for restless leg syndrome, you should discuss this with your physician.

Usually, patients with primary RLS are prescribed medication daily. They are usually told to avoid substances that can aggravate the condition. They should not take any other sleep-causing medicines, such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants.

In a 12-week double-blind crossover study, gabapentin was effective for 22 patients. Gabapentin is typically given once a day, at a dose of 100 to 300 mg. It can be titrated upward based on tolerability. In patients over 65, the dosage should be decreased.

The risk of augmentation is highest with higher doses. In addition, the risk increases with longer exposure to the drug. This risk is greater in patients who have lower iron stores. If you’re taking a gabapentin-containing drug, make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet.

When taking a gabapentin-containing medication, be sure to follow all directions and instructions provided by your doctor. You should not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous activities while taking gabapentin. You should also not drink alcohol or take other sleep-causing medicines.

In addition, some experts recommend a 10-day “wash-out” period before alpha-2-delta ligands are introduced into your system. This will reduce the intensity of your RLS symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.


Compared to placebo, L-dopa for restless legs syndrome is very effective in reducing symptom severity. In addition to a reduction in symptom intensity, clinicians also reported improved symptom quality and lower sedation levels.

Dopamine agonists are a common treatment for moderate to severe RLS. There are several categories of medications for RLS, including alpha 2-delta ligands, dopamine agonists, and benzodiazepines. These drugs mimic dopamine in the brain and increase the production of dopamine.

Dopamine agonists include levodopa, pramipexole, and ropinirole. These medications can be used to treat chronic persistent RLS or Parkinson’s disease. They are first-line therapies for patients with moderate to severe RLS.

Another type of drug, called carbidopa-levodopa, can improve symptom severity and reduce periodic limb movements during sleep. This drug has been shown to be safe and effective in both uremic and non-uremic patients.

In a double-blind study, carbidopa-levodopa was effective in improving symptom severity in patients with uremic restless legs syndrome. It was also effective in a polysomnographic study of patients with idiopathic restless legs syndrome.

There is a possibility that dopamine agonists may cause a paradoxical worsening of symptoms. However, they are likely to be effective in reducing symptoms in most patients. Benzodiazepines are also useful in mild cases of RLS. In these patients, they may be used in conjunction with the alpha-2 delta ligand.

In the case of refractory restless legs, low-dose opioid therapy is recommended. If this does not work, a dopamine agonist is a next choice. Some experts recommend a 10-day wash-out period before introducing an alpha-delta ligand.

Other alternative treatment options include Rotigotine transdermal patch and Ferric Carboxymaltose. Benzodiazepines are effective in young patients with mild to moderate RLS. The use of these medicines should be individualized to the patient’s needs.

Rotigotine transdermal patch

Using a transdermal Rotigotine patch for restless legs syndrome has been shown to be effective in a number of clinical trials. These studies found that Rotigotine, a dopamine agonist, improved symptoms, including the frequency of occurrence and severity of symptoms, in patients with moderate to severe idiopathic restless legs syndrome. In addition, patients with this condition showed reduced arousal associated with periodic limb movement in sleep (PLMs).

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 843 subjects with moderate to severe RLS were randomized to receive either Rotigotine or placebo. The results indicated that Rotigotine provided greater improvement than placebo on the International RLS (IRLS) scale, which is used to measure the presence of RLS. The study also provided data on the safety and tolerability of Rotigotine in patients with idiopathic RLS.

A 1-week pilot study demonstrated that a Rotigotine transdermal patch was safe and effective for a short period of time. This proof-of-concept study was followed by a six-month, randomized, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose trial in Europe and the United States. The Rotigotine transdermal patch maintains stable plasma concentrations of the drug for 24 hours. The Rotigotine transdermal strip is a silicone-based patch that allows for continuous drug delivery.

The Rotigotine transdermal therapy provided sustained relief of symptoms, with a dose range of 0.5 mg/24 h to 4 mg/24 h. The safety and tolerability of Rotigotine were favorable. The most common adverse events were application-site reactions, nausea, and headache. The majority of subjects did not experience serious adverse events.

The majority of patients were compliant during the maintenance phase of the Rotigotine therapy. During the first year, two patients were removed from the study for non-compliance. However, the majority of patients were 94% compliant.

Second-generation antidepressants

Medications commonly used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) have been linked to an increased risk of depression. A systematic review identified a small number of relevant studies. The following antidepressants were examined: fluoxetine, amitriptyline, duloxetine, venlafaxine, and paroxetine.

Although a majority of these studies found a link between the use of an antidepressant and an increased risk of depression, some studies did not find such a link. These studies did show that the frequency of RLS among antidepressant users was comparable to that of the general population.

In the Turkish study, a correlation was noted between the severity of RLS and the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It was also noted that a patient’s age, gender, and educational level were not associated with an increased risk of developing restless legs syndrome. However, the prevalence of RLS was higher among patients treated with escitalopram and duloxetine than among patients treated with a placebo.

The American Academy of Neurology has published guidelines for the treatment of RLS. According to these guidelines, a diagnosis of RLS should be made if a patient has the urge to move one or both of their lower limbs, accompanied by a lowered quality of sleep. The suggested interpretation of the severity of the symptom is mild (11 to 20), moderate (21 to 30), or very severe (31 to 40).

In a study of patients with chronic restless leg syndrome, carbidopa-levodopa showed significant improvement in RLS. This drug improved the number of periodic limb movements in sleep and self-rated sleep quality. It was also shown to be effective in improving RLS symptoms in a double-blind study of uremic patients.

The prevalence of RLS was also higher in males than in females. In addition, the rate of antidepressant treatment in males was significantly higher than that of females.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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